Instagram provides filters and tidy borders that make his photos look much richer and warmer and better than they really are.
Call of Duty provides prediction code and auto-aim that makes her aim and positioning better than they really are.
Karaoke bars provide clever stuff that makes my rendition of Eye of the Tiger less awful than it really is (and even then it’s still shockingly bad)
Spellcheck – for the most part – lessens the awfulness of people’s spelling.
As technology seeps into every facet of our lives, what will these enhanced abilities and invisible helping hands do to our expectations of how good we are at stuff really?
As a parent I see the resilience and fragility that come with learning, with trying, the tears, the ‘I’m rubbish’. It seems healthy, good.
So what it will be like to *not* know you’re rubbish? To cruise around propped up, prompted, auto-corrected – all wrinkles smoothed out.
Will there be clanging moments where lords and ladies of technology suddenly reenter the physical world and find they can’t fix the tap, mow the lawn, cook a meal, drive the basic car?
Will there be different classes of people, new strata in society – those that tech, those that fetch and fix? Will it be symbiotic or will one class of people dominate and bully the other?
Read Victoria’s comment on the feelings and expectations that go on for all of us around the influence of technology in our relationships.
Here are some snippets:
Maybe I am peculiarly selfish – but honestly I don’t want to know what people are doing on their phone/ipad/laptop unless I had an expectation that they were – or should be – doing something else, that involved me somehow.
I think we need some signals back. Maybe my children will be happy for the particular device they’re using to emit the signal but I need my signal to come from a human being, so I feel like there’s opportunity for negotiation and agreement rather than being presented with a fixed notice.
Vic’s comment reminds me of noticing some of this when I did my week long course at London Business School.
At the opening lecture the main professor asked ‘can you please ensure your blackberries and phones are switched to *silent* please’.
For me that was the first formal situation that acknowledged the shift in expectations and behaviour.
For this week it was going to be OK to be looking at devices, just as long as they didn’t disrupt others by making noise.
It feels like we are slipping down an interesting slope – easing from…
- Please switch your electronics stuff off (and be present in the room)
- Please switch your stuff to silent (but do what you need to do)
So what next?
What is the next step from here as the edges blur and our norms stretch?
Or will momentum swing back the other way, with growing consciousness of what these norms actually for our relationships, our productivity?
And, whatever happens, how will it make us feel?